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So as I was outlining and putting together extensive design document over a game that I plan on making sometime. I started thinking, how do other people tackle making a game. Do you just dive right in and go with the flow or do you go and do tons of planning and make sure everything is planned before development?
So I have never attempted to, nor made a game, but kentona wrote an article about it.

And a general guide to being a gam maker written by him as well ..

There must be more, but hey, that should be one way of doing things.
I hit a midway mark in my planning. I got an idea stuck in my head, as I usually do, but instead of letting it flee this time, I held it down, choked it and tore...No wait.

Seriously, I mainly had a notebook I carried around with me at work. During downtime (we've had a lot with MERS lately), I would sit down and sketch out ideas, game flow, ideas for features and 'stretch' features (things that I would like to have, but are not core to the idea). Give it some time, go back over, nix certain ideas, simplify things down, figure out what is actually necessary, what my core idea should be, etc. Certainly not everything planned, but I had a list of features before I set down with RPGMaker and set about finding what was doable, doable with work, or too hard to bother with initially, then went back to revising.

Also, since this is my first project, I made sure to focus on a concept that would be easy to revise on the go, instead of having to dump it because of early mistakes (hence the Mission-style segments of my game, if an initial level is terribly designed, it can be entirely redone without touching the rest of the game). That's more planning for my own limitations and growth than the game though.
I would start with writing down a basic plotline. Figure out your characters as you go; who are they? What are their motivations? Where/when do you first meet these characters and what relation do they have to eachother as a party. A good way to do this is by making character descriptions, which can provide some backstory if necessary.

You also need to think about your world. How big will it be? What limits will the world have?

It's important that you figure out the when and where of your plot.

You'll also need to plan out the gameplay. What systems are you aiming for? Are there scripts available for usage to fit your needs.

For dialogue, I would recommend you to write an entire script for the main story. Do in Word or a similar software which lets you know when there are typos, crazy grammar etc.
IMO, a focused-written script is the way to go. This way, you won't have to worry too much about graphics and such at the same time. Your text will have to be extra strong in the script since it will have to shine on its own.

Later, I recommend that you gather your resources, scripts. Limit yourself to what your game NEEDS.

When you've done that, you'll maybe want to fiddle around with your gameplay-related stuff. Try out scripts and see if everything works the way you want. Spotting bugs early in development is much less stressful than to find them near the full release.

For my current game, I basically went like this:

1. Map out all 350+ maps of the game.
2. Add all main scenes to finish the story.
3. Add all enemies, work on balance and gameplay outside of battles.

This method doesn't work for most though, since apparently, a lot of developers think it's tough to focus on one thing ATM and finish it.

If you feel like my method is a bit too much, try to finish smaller portions, like a chapter before moving on. That way, you won't feel overwhelmed or exhausted making maps only, for instance.

Balancing an RPG is one of the toughest part for me when I make my games. The reason I save this for last, is not because it's hard to make or boring, it's because when I do work on my gameplay, I want to be very focused on the task.

You'll of course (usually) need to revisit the different aspects of your game and fix the errors you find while testing.
First thing I do is doing a random bunch of stuff without thinking about making things fit together to understand what the engine can do and what game I could feasibly do with it. Then I can go on about the planning, designing and all that stuff.
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
I am curious to know if my articles helped at all

No, really, most of the time I just do it as I go. Sometimes I have no idea where the plot is going but it's going.

i dont recommend doing it my way
Got me my shiny new MZ
I usually use Evernote on an iPad. This way whenever I have an idea I can just jot it down really quick cause I carry my iPad everywhere.

Then when one of the ideas develops into something more substantial I will fill out and tag more Evernote entries on it such as characters, plot, gameplay, etc. I will eventually have to retype all of this into RPG Maker but I find it helps to have a place to look at all the text as it is really difficult to sift through dialogue boxes in RPG Maker.

When a game is getting serious, then I open a spreadsheet in Numbers. This is where I plug in battle formulas and basic numbers such as total enemies encountered, items gained, total expected gold, and other game balancing numbers.

Hope that helps.
I use a lot of spreadsheets.
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
I am curious to know if my articles helped at all

Yes, I read most of them and they informed much of my perspective on game development, on structuring and pipelining and whatever. The different types of gamers, all that type of stuff. I reckon other people read it too, even if it was a while ago, but I reckon the effects of your articles are felt through a lot of games. Don't worry about it being for nothing, it's probably only one of the most influential, if not the most influential, series of articles on this site.
Plan your gameplay first and foremost, then create an outline for a plot (if applicable), keeping in mind what themes and narrative you are going for. Narrative should be developed in parallel with gameplay ideally, with neither one as a forethought, in order to maximize cohesiveness and flow.

No, really, most of the time I just do it as I go. Sometimes I have no idea where the plot is going but it's going.

i dont recommend doing it my way

can confirm: improvising is Not A Great Plan since yup it will bite you comin' down the road.

Iron out what you want your game to do mechanically, figure out HOW to do that, and then stick to the plan. Write your script in a document separate from the editor, but make sure you include all message box codes in the dialogue as you go. Adding those in? Not a good time!

For the love of god figure out what items/equips/common events you'll need before you get in the editor. Shit getting disorganized is A W F U L, especially when you already have half a game made.

PLAN. PLAN LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW. Because even if you make a flawless plan, it still won't be enough. This is the thing I have learned.
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